Just a Moment News - 2023-10-25


Good morning and welcome to Just a Moment News. I’m Erika, and today is October 25, 2023. Here are the headlines for today:

First up, genetic testing company 23andMe has notified customers of a data breach in its “DNA Relatives” feature. The breach was discovered after a hacker advertised the sale of millions of data pieces from the company. User details such as relationship labels, ancestry reports, and matching DNA segments were compromised. Concerns have been raised about the potential exploitation of sensitive information, and lawmakers are seeking more information on the breach. To protect user privacy, 23andMe has temporarily disabled features within “DNA Relatives” and suspects the breach may have occurred through “credential stuffing.” Users are advised to update their login information and enable two-factor authentication.

Next, Famous Brands, a restaurant group and franchiser, has experienced a significant increase in insurance costs. The costs have risen by 470%, reaching 22 million rand for the six months ending in August. The surge in insurance costs is believed to be an industry-wide issue related to heightened risk perceptions in the food facilities and supply chain. Despite a 10% increase in revenue, Famous Brands will look for cost savings and efficiencies to absorb the inflated insurance costs. Consumer behavior has also been affected, with people spending less per visit to the restaurants but trying to maintain frequency. The company is closely monitoring challenges such as avian flu affecting the supply and pricing of poultry products.

Moving on, the City of Cape Town is preparing to host a free fan park for the Rugby World Cup final. The final will feature a historic clash between arch-rivals, the Springboks and the All Blacks. This is the first World Cup final showdown between these teams on neutral ground, making it an exciting match for rugby fans. In anticipation, Cape Town’s city officials are setting up a fan park with amenities such as a big screen and a food court. The fan park will open at 5 pm, and more details will be released closer to the event date.

In technology news, almost all nations in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) will have access to SpaceX’s low-Earth orbit internet service, Starlink, except for South Africa. The absence of South Africa from Starlink’s coverage is speculated to be due to regulatory hurdles and market dynamics. South Africa’s existing internet infrastructure and aggressive fiber deployment have led to lower prices for fixed and mobile broadband. However, certain regions still lack economically viable internet options, making satellite services like Starlink crucial. Starlink’s potential entry could provide additional competition, drive prices down, and fill coverage gaps in less accessible areas.

Apple is gearing up for its upcoming event, where the focus will be on the M3 series MacBook Pro models. Analysts Ming-Chi Kuo and Mark Gurman indicate that multiple M3 chips, such as M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max, are likely to be announced. This is a change from previous predictions, as limited shipments were expected to delay new MacBook Pro models until 2024. The event will primarily focus on the MacBook Pro line, with the 13-inch, 14-inch, and 16-inch models being refreshed. The tight supply chain and extended shipping times for these models have reinforced the urgency for an update. Apple may also consider an all-new design for 2025 and potentially introduce a more affordable MacBook model if the M3 models fail to boost shipments.

In other news, Spotify’s paid subscribers have grown to 226 million amidst recent price increases. The company reported a 3% increase in Premium subscribers and a 4% increase in Monthly Active Users (MAUs). Spotify’s focus on podcasts and audiobooks continues, with plans to offer 15 hours of audiobook content to Premium users and the introduction of new podcast features. However, the launch of the promised “Supremium” lossless streaming tier remains uncertain.

Lastly, NASA’s interstellar Voyager 1 and 2 probes, launched 46 years ago, have received software updates to address operational challenges. One update fixes data transmission issues in Voyager 1, while another aims to prevent thruster residue buildup in both probes. These updates are crucial for maintaining contact with Earth. However, engineers acknowledge that they are navigating uncharted territory, and mysteries surrounding the misrouting of telemetry data in Voyager 1 remain unsolved.

That’s all for today’s news. Thank you for joining me on Just a Moment News. I’m Erika, and I’ll see you next time.

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